Summer Goals, revisisted

It's been a little over a month since I drafted my list of summer goals and I thought now would be as good of time as any to check in on my progress. Being that I'm such a goal-oriented person who likes having something tangible to strive for, I've taken the liberty of adding a few more goals to the list because hey, I'm kind of a big deal ...

Do I even need to tell you how excited I am for the Anchorman sequel? My favorite movie of all time!

Courtney's Summer Goals

*NEW GOAL* Make new (and hopefully permanent) changes in my dedication to clean eating. 
Surprisingly, my commitment to reducing the amount of dairy I consume has been pretty solid. With the exception of ice cream every once in awhile (come on, it is summer after all) and eating meals prepared by others, I don't have milk products. At first, saying no to cheese was a huge struggle for me and the thought of saying goodbye to it forever made me weepy and scared, but as time goes by, I crave it less and less. I do allow myself an occasional cheat day because let's face it, a life without a cheesy slice of pizza is not a life worth living.

To revisit my reasons for reducing dairy in my diet, please check here and here.

In addition to vastly reducing the amount of dairy I consume, I'm making it a habit to eat slightly less meat (especially red meat) on a weekly basis. While I'm not sure I could ever fully make the leap into being a vegetarian (or if I would ever want to because come on, hamburgers), I do want to give meat less of a leading role and make it more of a co-star at my dinner table. I am a huge documentary junkie and Netflix has an abundance of films on basically any subject you could ever dream of, especially the food industry. I recently watched Food, Inc. for the one-billionth time and its footage of live baby chicks flying down a conveyor belt and being dumped down chutes never ceases to bring tears to my eyes. The first time I saw that scene, I immediately cried for Clayton to come upstairs and I blubbered in his lap for a solid five minutes. This documentary shook me up enough to start evaluating my feelings about where my food comes from. I mean, I was already aware that some meat companies had shady, unsanitary methods, but I was more comfortable living with the whole "ignorance is bliss" mentality. (I'm not saying all meat companies are unethical, but enough are.)

I talked to Emily, the same lovely girl who mailed me a copy of Crazy, Sexy Diet this winter, and told her that I was at a crossroads. I didn't want to be a vegan or a vegetarian, but I was beginning to have stronger than expected convictions about what I'm putting in my body. A practicing vegan herself, Emily gave me great, simple advice. She said, "Try adding a few days a week where you guys cut out meat." Now, that's something I can actually commit to!

For the sake of clarification, (because sometimes it seems like people love to take statements like these and run with them, making unfounded accusations or trying to tell me I don't know how to take care of my own body) I am NOT giving up meat entirely. I'm simply not eating it every single day. For the past two nights I've successfully gone without any kind of meat and instead made my meals out of mixed green vegetables, whole grains, and lots of legumes for protein (we actually don't need as much protein as we think we and no, meat isn't the only source of it anyway).

Attempt to make fondant.
Still haven't done this one. A friend of mine emailed me a link to a marshmallow fondant recipe because it's a much easier consistency to work with. I guess right now I'm just waiting for the perfect excuse to be like, "Marshmallow fondant, anyone?"

Bake something yummy for me and my family (and sometimes my co-workers) once a week.
So far so good! I'm a sugar glutton, so sticking to this goal isn't exactly shocking. Last weekend I made snickerdoodles and what's on the menu this week? White chocolate Craisin cookies or mocha cupcakes.

Enjoy as many local road races as possible.
A work in progress! I ran my first road race since the mini just 2 weekends ago, and I'm registered for another 5k next Saturday. With my upcoming sprint triathlon and another half marathon this fall, my racing budget is pretty limited, so running a race every few weeks is already pushing it. For a list of all my upcoming running events, check out my Race Schedule page.

Try a brand new food.  
I tried fried green tomatoes for the first time barely a week after writing this goal for myself. So while this goal has already been accomplished, it's not going to stop me from experiencing new cuisine. Clay and I have already made a mini list of ethnic restaurants around town we plan on visiting.

Go swimming. 
Done and done! If you remember from earlier this summer, Clay and I spent Memorial Day at the community pool and splashed around for a good hour. On top of that, my in-law's are in the process of re-opening the pool in their backyard! I see a lot more swimming and sunbathing in this girl's very near future!

Pick up a new hobby that does not involve working out or food.  
I'm still trying to sort this goal out. I've done a few various crafts, but nothing that's stuck as a legitimate hobby. It's time I do some serious thinking about this one ... 

Stick to a core strength training routine that will flatten my stomach to the point that I feel comfortable enough to re-pierce my belly button.  
Can you believe this one is actually going really well? I perform a simple ab routine every other day for about 15 minutes. It's nothing major, but I can already see a difference! My tummy is slowly, but surely regaining some of the definition it so easily maintained when I was a teenager. I'm not ready to run down the street naked by any means, but I am starting to feel more confident in my bikini.

Take a few days trips and plan a stay-cation.
CHECK! Our stay-cation was marvelous. Clay and I are still singing its praises. Next on our agenda? A trip to Holiday World or Kings Island. So much to do!

Go to the fair and gobble down a bag of cotton candy. 
The fair is coming to town in July. There will be much gorging that week.

*NEW GOAL* Finally put our guest room together.
Right now our guest room consists of our treadmill, a book case, and a teensy-weensy 19" TV. We don't even have curtains up. It's an ugly, ugly room and not very accommodating should we ever have any overnight guests. Clay and I have debated getting a futon or dragging his childhood twin bed from his parent's house. We've yet to reach a conclusion, but the room is starting to bum me out and I want to finish it. It's a small space, but if we maneuver the treadmill around and make an effort to collapse it after use, we should be bale to make quite a cozy guest suite. And come on, I'll look for any excuse to play Suzy Homemaker and go to Bed Bath and Beyond.

Write at least two chapters of the book I've brainstormed.  
Fail. Big, fat fail. I'm so intimidated by this process. Why? I don't know. I feel more comfortable keeping my ideas in my head rather than putting them down on paper. It's cowardly. It's almost like I tricked myself into believing that if I keep my dreams bottled up, I have no risk of failure. Then again, never daring to try is probably the worst type of failure there is.

Stay up until sunrise at least once.
I'm lazy. I sleep all the time. If I'm not working, running, or eating ... I'm napping. this will be a toughie, but it's going to happen!

*NEW GOAL* Read more.
For a literary publicist, I sure am not reading very often. Sure, I read through my clients' books, but at the end of the day, it's much more relaxing for me to go home and watch a movie on my Kindle Fire than it is to actually read a book (or, if I'm being honest, playing Fruit Ninja). One of my favorite summer activities is sunbathing by the pool and I have a difficult time doing that without a book in my hands. The past several weekends I've busted out my favorite chick lit books from personal library and it's amazing how much I've missed reading these silly, quick reads.

*NEW GOAL* Spend a few hours volunteering.
I'm not going for a humanitarian award, but I think it would do me some good to donate some time to something unselfish that doesn't involve me or my own life. I'm not giving myself a set amount of time to volunteer, just anything I can do in my spare time. And yes, if you think that means I'll be volunteering at the animal shelter, you'd be right.

How are your summer goals coming?


  1. Love your goals! I haven't officially set any, but I'm taking an actual vacation this year for the first time in I can't even remember how long. I actually took an additional week afterwards with nothing planned for it yet. Just the thought of not having to worry about work for over a week is already so wonderful.

    I also made a goal to read more!! I used to read ALL the time, but so much other stuff got in the way, that it fell off my radar. I'm bound and determined to get that back on my agenda every week.

    I've also committed to a strength training plan to get my stomach flat for the first time EVER. I remember from one of your other posts you weren't so keen on P90X, but I freaking love it. It brings out the inner college badass athlete in me, and I'm sucking up every second of those kick ass workouts. And they quite literally kick my ass sometimes. Like whoa.

    I'm also revamping my blog (I hired a graphic designer), so I have a lot of stuff planned for that, but I'm not quite willing to let any info go live yet, just keep an eye on what's happening over in my crafty corner :-)

    Good luck with all your goals this summer!!!

    1. Thank you! I find that I'm much more driven if I have a tangible goal in sight. A good incentive always works wonders for me! :)

      Where are you going for vacation? I've always wanted to do that: Take an awesome trip somewhere, and then come back and still have time to relax at home before going back to work. We usually get back from Florida literally 12 hours before we have to be back in the office! It always stresses me out! I hope you have an amazing time!

      For working in publishing, I'm embarrassed by how little I've been reading lately. I'm the kind of person that when I find a book I like, I will hole up in my bedroom and read for hours on end. I just haven't had the time or want to do that recently. How sad is that!? I need to get back into my Goodreads or Shelfari account and get some good book recommendations.

      My husband loves P90X and I know lots of people do, I just haven't been able to get into it. I know it's so good for your body, but I tend to reject any kind of exercise tape. Maybe I'm just a huge wuss? ha ha My hubby loves their ab routine. I've considered doing it, but I'm sure it will be far more intense than what I do on my own. Plus, I know the secret to flat abs is DIET, DIET, DIET and well, I love cake.

      New changes on your blog? How exciting! I can't wait to see all of it!

      As always, thanks for your comment. I always love reading your thoughts. :)

  2. I'm actually taking a long weekend and driving up to the King Arthur Flour baking education center in Vermont and taking a gluten free baking class. I figure, who better to teach me the in's & out's of gluten free baking than a flour company who produces one of the best gf flour blends out there?! amiright? So, that's the last weekend in July, but I'm tacking on a few days beforehand to kinda see what's around there. The week after that, though, is totally open & up for grabs. I usually do what you do - head right back to work T minus 10-12 hours after getting home. Not this year! This girl needs a break!

    I have to read very technical documents all day, so most of the time when I get home the LAST thing I want to do is keep on reading. But, I found that i'm missing out on some pretty awesome stuff, so I decided to make a little bit of time for reading again. So far, so good! I forgot how good it feels to get completely lost in a good book. I also have a Goodreads account, so i'll have to look for recommendations after I'm done the current book I'm reading.

    The ab routine will kick.your.ass. Seriously. I affectionately called it the "lost torture tapes from The Cold War" for the first 2 weeks. Last night, I did the entire thing without stopping. It wasn't by any means easy, but I made it all the way through. My diet hasn't been so great lately, so I do have to hop back on the "good eats" train and really get my abs into shape.

    You're so sweet! I love reading your posts - I have the same kind of humor, so it's nice to see someone just as sarcastic as me, since I can't quite be that way in my blog. Gotta write to you audience, right? Cross stitchers and scrapbookers might not exactly appreciate the "real" I have to reign her in for my posts....ha!


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